It is mercifully over.
The Lions finished the season 7-9 after the 14-13 loss to the Vikings on Sunday.
Here are 10 things to chew on as we wait for the decision on the immediate future of coach Jim Schwartz:
1. The Lions have had one winning season since 2000 when they were 9-7 and didn’t make the playoffs. Schwartz has had just one winning season in five. The Lions lost six games this season by 4 points or less.
2. They can’t finish a game or a season. The Lions won just one of their final seven. In 2012 and this season, they won two games total in the final eight games of each season. If you remember they had eight straight losses to end the 2012 season. They held fourth-quarter leads in nine straight games to end this season and they lost six of them.
3. Reggie Bush did his part. Yes, he had fumbles, but he went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second time in his career. He also did it in 2011 with Miami and then was 14 yards short in 2012. He added 500 receiving yards to become the first Lions running back with 1,000 rushing and 500 receiving yards in the same season since Billy Sims in 1980. Job well done.
4, With Calvin Johnson on the sidelines, the offense struggles more than usual to find a rhythm. Johnson battled a knee injury all season which kept him mostly off the practice field. Amazingly he missed just two games. Schwartz told reporters after the game, Johnson could need minor knee surgery.
5. We’ve probably seen kicker David Akers in a Lions’ uniform for the last time. When the Lions signed him to replace Jason Hanson they expected that his struggles in 2012 were behind him after groin surgery. Hanson was missed.
6. Brandon Pettigrew’s absence has been noticeable. He’s an all-around tight end who is probably not appreciated enough for his pass and rush blocking. Matthew Stafford was sacked five times on Sunday while he had been sacked 18 times in the first 15 games. Pettigrew, an unrestricted free agent, should be at the top of the Lions’ must-sign list.
7. What do you do with Louis Delmas? The safety has been inconsistent as heck. Then on Sunday he comes up with his third interception of the season which matches his career total in his first three seasons. He practices just one day a week due to his lingering knee woes. If there is a new coaching staff, they will have a decision to make with Delmas who is signed through 2014.
8. Center Dominic Raiola took a big pay cut to come back this season. Then he went out and had one of his best seasons. Schwartz said Raiola was playing better than he had in Schwartz’s five years as coach. Not only was Raiola solid at center, he was such an influence on the younger offensive linemen. Rookie right guard Larry Warford said he wouldn’t have succeeded this season without Raiola’s help. Sign him.
9. The defensive line has the talent, but it seems they were not the totally dominant force they should have been. They’ve got the right guys, but there’s room for improvement. DeAndre Levy, Stephen Tulloch and Ashlee Palmer sometimes get overlooked, but the linebackers were solid this season. Definitely a career year for Levy.
10. Expect a quick decision on Schwartz. If he’s going to be fired it will happen fast so the Lions won’t be late to the party when it comes to signing a new head coach.